Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Netvibes is the best Web 2.0 Start Page

NetvibesThe aim of it is to provide a place on the internet where you can set just the content you like, a super easy way of building your personalized homepage, available anywhere, anytime. No registration is needed, however if you want to access your page from another computer you'll be able to do it by registering with your email address and a password..

Netvibes is a web-app based on the idea of personalized homepages..
it is powered by some nicely developed Ajax..

Netvibes can be considered as a personal news aggregator with RSS and Atom support. Comes with a set of predefined news feeds..

Netvibes is developed by a french team who are excited about what the web can be..

Netvibes is fully localized, available for now in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese..

Netvibes was launched on the 8th September 2005..

Netvibes Customized Start Page
The project itself looks pretty good: modules are intuitive and the page interaction’s easy to catch up on with just a few seconds. There are a few other things on the slate too, apparently, like modules for Flickr, feed searching, bookmarks, etc..

All in all, while it is another solution for a problem that many people are tackling, Netvibes looks like a pretty good Ajax-based homepage, so you should definitely check it out and take your conclusions..

U can read alot of newly added features to Netvibes on their blog @

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Windows Vista Delayed Again

Vista DelayedThe new version of Microsoft Windows, called Vista, is now delayed..
it was originally going to ship in 2003. Then 2005. Then 2006. Now in early 2007 [January]. I'm not surprised!

Micro$oft says the delay is for the need to make more security and usuability tweaks..

Office 2007 launch delayed too to meet Vista!!

A quote from retiring Windows co-president Jim Allchin:
"We won't compromise on product quality, and we needed just a few more weeks."

The few more weeks changed to few more months!
After the delay i prefer to think Vista this way..
Windows Vista: Too Much Marketing, Not Enough Coding..

Windows VistaWindows Vista

So what's new in this Vista?
Windows Vista will include whole new stuff such as:
1. Anti-spyware tools.
2. Internet Explorer 7.
3. Better home networking.
4. Windows Media Player 11.
5. Windows Calendar [a new systemwide tool designed to do for datebook information what Outlook Express does for e-mail in Windows XP].
6. Broad IPv6 support.
7. Improved client-side caching of data stored on a server.
8. Volume encryption.
9. Revamped synchronization engine.
10. Lots of new laptop features. with an auxiliary display.
11. Automatic hard drive optimization.
12. Security enhancements.
13. New searching mechanism.
14. Secure boot-up process that helps prevent someone from gaining access to your data if your PC is lost or stolen.
15. Parental controls.
16. There will also be visual changes.
and more..

How much will it cost?
Pricing has not been announced.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Is Skype Secure?

Is Skype Secure?We all know the advantages of Skype, but what about the disadvantages that we all don't know?

Is Skype secure? Is the program safe to use? Is Skype more secure than a telephone call made with an analog or ISDN telephone? How does the security of Skype compare with other VoIP-based systems?

Skype binds to three ports on the user's computer and directly manipulates Windows XP's built-in firewall to accommodate these network bindings..

Skype's file transfer function does not contain any built-in anti-virus protection that scans programs as they are downloaded..

Skype accesses the hard disk several times per minute..
Although those accesses are small, extremely fast and safe in the short term, they can be harmful in the long term..

Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype, has admitted that the current security model would not open-source:
Would he make Skype open-source? No, that would make its strong 1024 bit encryption and security vulnerable: "We could do it but only if we re-engineered the way it works and we don't have the time right now."

In cryptography and computer security, security through obscurity (sometimes security by obscurity) is a controversial principle in security engineering, which attempts to use secrecy (of design, implementation, etc.) to ensure security. A system relying on security through obscurity may have theoretical or actual security vulnerabilities, but its owners or designers believe that the flaws are not known, and that attackers are unlikely to find them..

A few people will give up a "normal" phone for a PC-linked Skype connection. New products, such as standard phone handsets with USB connectors, help blur the line separating Skype from the rest of the telephone world, but that line remains..

Is Skype's completely proprietary nature. Open source fans don't appreciate Skype's rejection of open source values and standards. Large companies don't appreciate Skype's way of worming through corporate firewalls..

Skype do not follow standards, two major computer-based phone products that do follow standards, SIPphone and FreeWorldDialup, have tiny market share compared to Skype but have the weight of internet standards on their side. Their limited market share will not threaten to overwhelm Skype but may grow large enough to push Skype to involvement with the standards community. That probably won't happen until at least 2008, and will likely depend on how Microsoft implements Voice over IP support in Windows Vista..

The integrity of the data, i.e. data modified while traveling though peers, even if encrypted, is unknown and undocumented..

Skype provides an uncontrolled registration system for users: registration requires no proof of the identity of the user at all. This works two ways: you can use the system without revealing your identity to other users of the system, but on the other hand you have no guarantees that the person you communicate with is the one they say they are..

Skype is a proprietary software program using undocumented protocols, and laws prohibit reverse-engineering it..

Skype implements some kind of "peer-to-peer" network over client machines, with clients on fast connections becoming major exchange points; since research centers typically have very high speed connections, machines running Skype in those centers may generate very high traffic; some networks were reportedly nearly saturated by Skype traffic..

The information flow implemented by Skype is unknown; though encryption is used, it is unknown where traffic goes..

Skype claims that its system uses the RSA encryption algorithm for key exchange and 256-bit AES as its bulk encryption algorithm. However, Skype does not publish its key exchange algorithm or its over-the-wire protocol and, despite repeated requests, refused to explain the underlying design of its certificates, is authentication system, or its encryption implementation. Therefore it is impossible to validate the company's claims regarding encryption. It is entirely possible that the data is both encrypted and not secure..

Skype could also be an infection vector for spyware. Although the program's creators promise that their program does not come with spyware or adware, it is possible that they are not being truthful or that their policy will change in the future. Skype could have security vulnerabilities that a third-party could exploit..

Finally, it must be remembered that the security of the Skype system also depends entirely on the good will of Skype’s programmers and the organization running Skype’s back-end servers. It is possible that there are back doors in the system allowing the Skype organization or others to record Skype conversations, turn on a computer's microphone and record the room's noise..

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Skype! Free Internet Calls

SkypeSkype lets you make free calls over the internet to anyone else who also has Skype. It's free and easy to download and use, and it works with most computers. Skype offers free global telephony and unlimited voice calls with its next-generation peer-to-peer software.
Users may call landlines and cellphones for a fee; users may call each other for free.
Skype makes your computer (or PocketPC) works as your phone.

Skype users now are near to 272 million people worldwide..

Skype works on a decentralized model, meaning there are no big phone switches and controlling computers in regional data centers, such as those that power Vonage and other broadband phone service providers. The only centralized Skype services at the beginning were the login servers, which also show which other Skype users are online. The switches that followed control SkypeOut calls to traditional telephone networks around the world. Adding Skype Voicemail and SkypeIn requires more centralized resources, and Skype data centers are growing as you read this. But Skype's low infrastructure cost per number of subscribers creates jealousy among every other broadband phone service provider.

Other internet telephony services, such as Vonage, Verizon, Packet8, ATT CallVantage, and others, spend hundreds of dollars of marketing and advertising money to find each new customer. Skype spends nothing [$0] except for the server support to keep its download files available.. Users worldwide join Skype by a word of mouth..

Skype transmits the full frequency range of human hearing (20Hz to 20KHz). Compare this with the standard phone frequency of 300Hz to 3.4KHz and you can see why Skype calls sound so wonderful.

The hassle could be your computer must be turned on to use Skype, and people you call must have Skype running on their system in order to receive your call.

-- Every Skype connection uses 256-bit encryption
-- Call quality astounds people
-- Talking free to other Skype users
-- Conference call with up to 5 total Skype users
-- File transfers
-- Chat (instant messaging)
-- SkypeOut [The ability to call regular phones]
-- SkypeIn [The ability of regular phones to call you on Skype]
-- Skype Voicemail
-- Skype Video Calling

Skype may not take over the world. However, Skype makes the world's highest-quality phone connections available for the world's lowest price: free.

The main difference between Skype and other VoIP clients is that it operates on a peer-to-peer model rather than the more traditional server-client model. The Skype user directory is entirely decentralised and distributed among the nodes in the network, which means the network can scale very easily to large sizes (currently just over 70 million users) without a complex and costly centralised infrastructure.

Try Skype now!

For now, Skype looks so wonderful, but to me and other developers, it still needs alot of criticism for security.. specially in large scale use like researches and large companies..

Security in Skype has alot of red marks which will be discussed in the next part..

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Million Dollar Homepage

The Million Dollar Homepage The idea is to sell 1 pixel on the screen for 1$..
You can buy 1 box minimum for $100 (100 pixels = 10x10 pixels), and the maximum purchase is whatever is left..
And it's doing the job very well : about 450000 pixels sold in just 2 months..

The idea started 26th August 2005 and now is sold out!

The owner is Alex Tew, 21 years old, the UK student behind the site.. He sells pixels on a web page to fund his way through university..

The site and homepage will be online for at least 5 years.. at least until 26th August 2010..

He says to buyers "You will have a piece of internet history!"

So why should people buy Alex pixels?
Because every buyer will have an image and a link to his site on the homepage of a site that could potentially be seen by millions of people over the coming years. The site will be online for at least 5 years, that's guaranteed, but the idea is to keep it online forever..

All you need to make money on the Internet is one really good idea.


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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Google Mars is here

Google Mars
Google is now showing you maps of the Mars. This feels just like Google Maps for earth. You can switch between three different map types; elevation, visible, and infrared. A list of "links of interest" (like where spacecrafts landed), as well as named mountains, canyons, dunes and craters is also available.

Google in their Mars FAQ says they're working on a version of this Mars data to be used in Google Earth (desktop) clients.

Google Mars

About Google Mars

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Switching to Gmail

Switch to GMail todaySwitching to a new email address can be a pain, but it doesn't have to be. To get personalized help on how to switch to Gmail, enter the
domain for the email address you no longer want to use, and click "Help Me Switch". Or view general instructions on switching from any
email address. Change is good. It can be easy too.

While I was doing some work this weekend I came what appears to be a new "guide" from Google that's designed to assist users of other
email services in a switch to Gmail. Yes, more good marketing from Mountain View.

The "Switching to Gmail" guide is a set of pages where, after the user enters their current, non-Gmail address (note that they use Yahoo
Mail and Hotmail in an example), they receive a customized guide (based on the current service) to switch to the still beta, Gmail.

Switch to GMail from other email services - Just enter the domain for the email address you no longer want to use, and click "Help Me
Switch". Contains detailed information on migrating to GMail from Yahoo, Hotmail, SBCGlobal, Comcast and .EDU addresses.

Switch from any email provider:

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